New Hannibal Industrial Park Facility to Create 20-25 New Jobs

Industrial Services Group, Inc., doing business as “Universal Blastco” announced on June 12 in a press release that they will open a state of the art industrial painting and coatings facility in Hannibal at the Hannibal Industrial Park. This new facility will primarily be servicing the Marcellus and Utica Shale infrastructure construction in the Ohio River valley.

The new facility will provide surface preparation, painting, coating and fireproofing of various equipment servicing the natural gas infrastructure. Utilizing what the company calls “safe, efficient and environmentally conscious industrial coating equipment and processes,” ISG will provide its customers with solutions designed to deliver large scale projects including multiple projects simultaneously.

ISG plans to invest heavily in building renovations, machinery and equipment at the new location, which will provide 20-25 new full-time jobs ranging from managerial and technical positions to skilled and entry-level production opportunities. The employee level is planned to increase to 45-50 by the end of year two.

“This is a good example of the impact of shale to create manufacturing jobs here in Monroe County,” said Monroe County Economic Developer Jason Hamman. 

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District Survey: Community Ready For Reorganization; Believes SOLSD Curriculum Weak

The Switzerland of Ohio Local School District (SOLSD) recently released the results of a district-wide survey given to staff, parents and students. The results show an openness to district reorganization and a concern for the district’s curriculum offerings.

Perhaps the most surprising results of the survey, especially considering recent vocal opposition to the proposed closure of schools and subsequent reorganization of the district, was that a majority of respondents were in favor of district reorganization. However, the type of “reorganization” favored is unclear as the question proposed in the survey lacked specifics and words such as “consolidation” or “closure.”

The two groups surveyed about reorganization responded with mostly affirmative answers when asked, “Are you supportive of a district reorganization that would allow curriculum improvements for all students?” A whopping 83% of the 157 staff members surveyed answered “yes.” A slightly lower percentage of 69% of the 144 parents surveyed answered “yes.”

Perhaps the openness to reorganization stems from an overall view that SOLSD’s curriculum is lacking.

A troubling portion of the survey came from the question asked to staff: “Do you believe our current curriculum offerings are preparing our students to compete in the college and/or the job market?” It would stand to reason that teachers in the district know most about the strength of curriculum, and the survey revealed their concern. 

Commissioners Continue to Explore Possibilities of New Jail

Monroe County Commissioners met with Sheriff Charles Black Jr. and representatives from an architectural firm and a brokerage firm during their June 2 regular session meeting as they continue to do their due diligence to explore whether or not the county can afford to build a new jail.

Commissioners were presented with operating costs estimates from Wachtel & McAnnally and financing scenarios from Ross, Sinclaire & Associates. Being considered are three facility sizes: a 52 bed facility at the cost of $6 million, a 88 bed facility at the cost of $7.2 million and a 112 bed facility at the cost of $8 million.

According to the operating costs figures, 21 employees would be needed to operate the facility. Plans to make extra revenue by renting cells to other counties were mentioned. Sheriff Black said he is also looking into the possibilities of housing in-transit federal prisoners to make extra revenue.

Mentioned during the conversation as a possible site for the facility was the industrial park on the outskirts of Woodsfield. 

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Final 42 Ormet Employees Losing Jobs

A Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice was submitted this month by Ormet Primary Aluminum Corporation to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The notice effectively eliminates the remaining workforce at the Hannibal plant.

Since two major layoffs caused the loss of jobs of around 1,000 workers last year, a skeleton crew of 42 employees had been working at the facility to maintain it in hopes of re-opening. This month’s WARN notice states that those employees will have their jobs eliminated beginning May 31 and ending July 31.

Of the 42 employees that will lose their jobs, 20 are hourly employees, and 22 are salaried. Stated in the notice was, “The closure is expected to be permanent.”

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Allegations Lead to Investigation of Local Boys Camp

An investigation into a local boys camp ended with all campers being removed late on May 14 and into the morning on May 15. Allegations of sexual misconduct at the Ohio Wilderness Boys Camp, located off of SR 724 on Zerger Quarry Rd. on the Monroe and Noble County line,  caused the initiation of the investigation.

The joint investigation, led by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, began when the family of a former camper made a complaint to the Coshocton County Sheriff's Department. Both the Monroe and Noble County Sheriff's Departments became involved in the investigation because the camp office is located in Noble County, while the rest of the camp, including the barracks, is located in Monroe County. 

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Lifesaving Click It or Ticket Mobilization Begins May 19 in Monroe County

Monroe County Sheriff Charles R. Black Jr. wants to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket. In order to enforce this reminder, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be stepping up enforcement beginning May 19. Sheriff Black’s efforts are part of a larger, national Click It or Ticket mobilization that runs May 19 through June 1. As motorists take to the roads to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend, law enforcement officials across the nation will be ensuring that everyone buckles up.

“Memorial Day weekend kicks off summer vacation season, and we want to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination safe and sound,” said Sheriff Black. “If you are not wearing your seat belt, you will be ticketed,” added Sheriff Black.

According to new data released from the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities are up nationwide for the first time in five years. In 2012, 10,335 people who were killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belts. NHTSA data also details how more traffic vehicle deaths occur at night. In 2012, 61 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed during the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m. were not wearing their seat belts. 

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Discussion on Jail Continues; $62,500 in CDBG Funding Allocated

The Monroe County Commissioners and Monroe County Sheriff Charles Black met during the regular session meeting on May 5 to continue to investigate the financial feasibility of building a county jail. The possibility of replacing the county’s outdated jail is being considered. Currently, the county houses prisoners in surrounding counties’ facilities at a great cost and inconvenience for the sheriff’s department.

According to the conversation, the county is looking into the possibility of building a new jail that would house a minimum of 48 prisoners with a potential to house up to 72 prisoners. Sheriff Black advised commissioners to consider a jail to hold a minimum of 80 prisoners with a potential to hold 120-130 prisoners.

Sheriff Black said, “I think we are at a very pivotal point where we can make some money. I think we can fill this jail and make a profit.” Sheriff Black said other county facilities are most often full, and many jails are not able to house female inmates. He believes if the larger jail is built, these situations combined with stricter regulations on jails, will mean the county will be able to make money by housing inmates for other counties.

Commissioners said conversation on funding a jail is still being discussed with a bonding company. Currently, operational costs are being examined. Commissioners revealed that they are looking at more than one potential site to build the facility if the project comes to fruition.

Sheriff Black also addressed commissioners about the tower attached to the sheriff’s office. It has been struck by lightning and caused damage in his office on multiple occasions over recent years. He said he is worried as stormy weather begins because of the “giant lightning rod attached to the building.”

Sheriff Black said all antennas should be able to be mounted to the roof of the sheriff’s office or the courthouse. The only communications devices needing the tall tower are for the engineer’s office. Commissioners advised Sheriff Black to discuss the possibility of removing the tower with Engineer Lonnie Tustin. 

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ODOT Construction Projects Ongoing and Upcoming

Spring means green grass, flowers, and warmer weather. It also means road construction season has begun. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is in full swing with several projects in the county and the surrounding area. Following is a list of road construction projects currently taking place:

• Lane restrictions continue to be in place on SR 7 near Duffy due to poor road conditions until paving takes place this summer.

• SR 800 (at 0.14 miles west of SR 26) is restricted to one lane for bridge rehabilitation and painting. ODOT estimates the road will reopen July 29. Traffic will be maintained by a temporary traffic signal with 12 ft width restrictions.

• Sections of SR 260, starting from the Washington County line and reaching to the intersection of SR 565, will be closed daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to allow for a brush cutting operation.

• SR 26, located 0.1 miles north of CR 105 (Merrill Ridge Rd.) is reduced to one lane with a 12 feet width restriction to allow for a slip repair project. Weather permitting, both lanes are set to reopen on May 31.

• Beginning May 1, SR 26, located 4.89 miles west of the junction with SR 800, will be reduced to one lane to allow for a box culvert replacement project. Temporary traffic signals will maintain traffic with a 10 feet width restriction. Both lanes are estimated to reopen by June 3.

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EdgeMarc Donates $10,000 to SOLSD, Several Students Honored For Their Achievements

 

EdgeMarc Energy Holdings, LLC presented the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District with a $10,000 check. Half of the donation will go to athletic pay-to-play fees, and half will go to textbooks. Pictured presenting the check to SOLSD Treasurer Lance Erlwein (right) was Joe Kelley (right) of EdgeMarc.The Switzerland of Ohio Local School District (SOLSD) Board of Education met for its regular session meeting on April 17. The highlight of the meeting was the discussion of the rumored closure of Beallsville High School (see front page article). However, several other orders of business were completed during the meeting.

A highlight of the meeting was a $10,000 donation from EdgeMarc Energy Holdings, LLC. The company gave $5,000 to the athletic fund for pay-to-play fees and $5,000 for text books. Along with the check, the company donated three banners made by the M.A.C.O. Workshop.

“EdgeMarc Energy’s Community Outreach program does focus extensively on youth educational enrichment.  Our Community Outreach program will grow with our business, so that we can continue offering support to the families/communities in the years to come,” said company representative Tina Jones. SOLSD Superintendent John Hall said of the company's donation, “They thought it was also important to make a donation on the academic side.”

Also making a donation was Johnson Construction. The company gave a check in the amount of $500 to the Beallsville High School athletic fund.

Another important order of business was adding days to this year's school calendar. During this year's harsh winter, a total of 13 days of school were missed due to inclement weather. With the normal five calamity days, four extra granted by the state on March 26, and a day made-up with a blizzard pack, three days were left to make-up. After a board vote, the extra days will be completed by adding June 2, June 3 and June 4 to this year's school calendar.

Commissioners Donate to Sale Committee

Members of the Monroe County Junior Fair Livestock Sale Committee accepted a check for $25,000 from the Monroe County Commissioners which will be used for a new barn construction. The approximate cost of the new construction which will replace the open class barn is $245,000. Shown, from left, are: Commissioners John Pyles, Carl Davis and Tim Price; Dave Matz, president of the Livestock Committee; Adriane Seebach, co-treasurer of the committee and Jared Seebach.In an effort to improve the facilities at the Monroe County Fairgrounds, the Monroe County Junior Fair Livestock Sale Committee requested donations from various entities. This improvement includes the razing of the open class barn making way for a new 4-H Exhibit Barn. The total estimate for the project is $245,000.

During the April 14 meeting of the Monroe County Commissioners, the board members presented a $25,000 check to Dave Matz, president of the Monroe County Junior Fair Livestock Sale Committee. Also attending the check presentation were Adriane Seebach and her son Jared. Seebach is co-treasurer of the sale committee.

“This is a very good capital improvement,” said Commissioner John Pyles. “It will help the kids and the fairgrounds. The new barn will be a nice addition to the county.”

“The group presented the proposal and drawings,” said Commissioner Carl Davis. “We think it is a good use of the money.”

In other business, commissioners traveled to Salem Township 392 to appraise a request by Statoil to vacate and dedicate a portion of the township road. A public hearing was held in the afternoon. Upon the agreement of two residents living on the township road and township trustees, John Miller, Martie Winkler and Kenny Jones, the board granted the request, which was made to accommodate a new drilling pad. The oil company will install six inches of aggregate on the new section to conform to specifications for new township roadways.

Attending the hearing were representatives of Statoil, trustees Miller and Winkler and Monroe County Engineer Lonnie Tustin.

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